Wednesday 27 April 2016
Arm’s-length Bodies: Administrative Classification
We are today publishing the “Report on the outcome of the classification review into the future classification of public bodies”, together with new guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/public- bodies-reform#classification-review. This report summarises the issues relating to the classification system and recommends measures to improve it, moving towards a simplified and more transparent landscape for the different types of public body.
The Public Administration Select Committee’s report “Who’s accountable? Relationships between Government and arm’s length bodies” highlighted the complex system for the administrative classification of arm’s length bodies. In their response the coalition Government acknowledged these issues and committed to addressing them through a review of the classification system.
Today’s report endorses the guiding principle that the classification of a public body should be determined by the degree of freedom it requires and recommends changes to the current classification framework. From now, new bodies should be set up within this framework and existing bodies will adapt to it overtime. The Cabinet Office guidance on classifications has been updated to ensure that these changes are applied consistently.
The summary of findings and recommendations outlined in the report follow extensive engagement with Government Departments, public bodies and others, as does the accompanying guidance.
Copies of both the report and the guidance have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.